Now that summer is upon us, mornings begin with making tea for the day's ice tea. You Brits and others, devoted to making the proper cup of tea with loose tea and a warmed tea pot and all that, just avert your eyes because around here this is how I fix tea for iced tea.
Two giant teabags, about a teaspoon of sugar, and some fresh-picked sprigs of mint go into the pitcher, along with boiling water -- filling the pitcher about two-thirds full. Cover with a folded dishtowel and let brew a while -- 3 to 5 minutes but it's not the end of the world if you forget and come back an hour later.
I like the tea to be strong so it can stand up to the ice-- the tiny amount of sugar mellows it out without really making it sweet. Other folks make what they call sweet tea and use a cup or more of sugar -- sweet enough to make your ears ring.
Some folks like to garnish their tea with mint and lemon -- I do too, but that's fancy sitting-on-the-porch iced tea. For utilitarian tea --the kind you drink out of a Mason jar when you come in from weeding the garden -- I don't bother with the garnish. But putting the mint in with the boiling water flavors the brew in a most refreshing way.
(As my grandmother taught me, the best place to grow mint is near a water faucet.)
Iced tea - house wine of the (American) South!